fragments of an attempted writing.

2 on religion: one naughty, one nice.

Every once in a while the old gloves slip off a wee bit- for camaraderie's sake. Poor Venny gets the usual muck ruck after what could barely be called a pot shot.  One part of the debate on that thread was the question of the degree to which Evangelical and Protestant anti-Catholicism has influenced Orthodox anti-Catholicism.  I also may have made some comparisons between certain Orthodox and Evangelical apologetical styles.

Which caused me to laugh out loud after a friend (who read the above linked to thread) told me I must read this post and I did so.  It embodies every caricature of the pious religion blogger - he starts blogging after his wife leaves him, he goes on the sort of vacations you'd expect a middle aged yuppie gay couple from a nice Minneapolis neighborhood to go on, the obligatory 20something taste in movies, and when it comes time to explain where he got his take on Western scholasticism and Western thought in general (in other words, the archenemy, of course), we get this gem:

After I graduated college in 1998 I immediately got married and decided to move to North Carolina, where I would attend an Evangelical Seminary and get a Philosophy of Religion degree, being taught by some of the biggest names in the Evangelical world at the time with a specialty in apologetics. I was there for three years and fully immersed in the life of the school, but in the end not allowed to get my degree because it was required I sign a Statement of Faith which was a bit too Calvinistic for my tastes.

It was about a year into my education in North Carolina that I really got deep into studying writers like Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, and every major Western thinker and philospher into the 20th century up to Derrida. I was also taking classes on Christian doctrine that was taught from a scholastic perspective, as my teacher was big fan and follower of Aquinas, and I wondered how strange it all sounded compared to what I had read in Orthodox Patristic texts. As much as I tried to reconcile the two, I just couldn't, and I was left dazed and confused, on the border of possibly abandoning certain key Orthodox doctrines because the arguments of Aquinas just sounded clearer and better to me in some ways. We spent a lot of time talking about the nature of God, and found it strange how little I was taught about this in my classes at Hellenic College. But deep down I always knew there was something wrong, especially with the doctrine of God as 
Actus Purus and the concept of Divine Simplicity and the vision of the Divine Essence.

This from one of the most popular of Orthodox bloggers (if Cliff is the online staretz then John Sanidopoulos is the online elder), not to mention one of those quite keen on stressing East/West differences along the FM-G & Clark Carlton lines.  A blogger who learned from "some of the biggest names in the Evangelical world at the time with a specialty in apologetics."  And he's a cradle no less. I don't mean to suggest that he is not now more informed by his inner Orthodoxy of the heart inner uncreated lightsaber than he is by the no doubt stellar education in Western thought and scholasticism he got from his Evangelical apologetics profs.  I only mean to suggest I found this very funny.   I got chastised the other day for “putting people” like this “in a box.”  Yeah, it’s me, I’m the one putting them in the box.  Dammit, you could put a 20 ton bank vault around that box and these online elders would find a way to get back into it.  But hell, elders can levitate so....


On an entirely different note:

The above was made for me by a consecrated virgin who lives in South St. Paul - a lady who used to work with me at the bookstore.  It's a Franciscan Crown rosary, meaning it has seven decades instead of the usual five.  These pictures don't do it justice.  The seeds are kentucky coffeetree seeds which fall in the maker's yard.  The Pater seeds are all appropriately bigger than the Ave seeds.  This is the most beautiful rosary I've ever seen let alone owned.
"Moving back to Minnesota, she and Marcus settled in Stillwater, a town of 18,000 near St. Paul, where they raised their five children and took in 23 foster kids. Stillwater is a Midwestern version of a Currier & Ives set piece, complete with cozy homes, antique stores — and no black people. In short, the perfect launching pad for a political career built on Bachmann's retro-Stepford image. Stillwater's congressional district is the whitest district in Minnesota (95 percent) and one of the wealthiest in America (with a median income $16,000 above the national average)."

- from this delightfully entertaining rant against Michele Bachmann.  

I'll be in Stillwater this summer visiting old friends.  Must be sure to remember this one.  

 Drones are part of a post-heroic age.

A friend of mine noted thus in response to this article: "This is interesting in conjunction with Obama's argument that the War Powers Act does not apply in Libya. Essentially, he says since there is no major risk to American lives, it does not count as war. With that logic all future wars can be prosecuted by drones and RPV's, purely on Presidential whim."

One of these new drones will require 2,000 analysts to look at the videos it takes.  So no worries - once that gets privatized that will be a hell of a lot of $11 an hour jobs.

merton on class that destroys grace

Prayer is attractive enough when it is considered in a context of good food, and sunny joyous country churches, and the green English countryside.  And, as a matter of fact, the Church of England means all this.  It is a class religion, the cult of a special society and group, not even of a whole nation, but of the ruling minority in a nation.  That is the principal basis for its rather strong coherence up to now.  There is certainly not much doctrinal unity, much less a mystical bond between people many of whom have even ceased to believe in grace or Sacraments.   The thing that holds them together is the powerful attraction of their own social tradition, and the stubborn tenacity with which they cling to social standards and customs, more or less for their own sake.  The Church of England depends, for its existence, almost entirely on the solidarity and conservatism of the English ruling class.  Its strength is not in anything supernatural, but in the strong social and racial instincts which bind the members of this caste together; and the English cling to their Church the way they cling to their King and to their old schools; because of a big, vague, sweet complex of subjective dispositions regarding the English countryside, old castles and cottages, games of cricket in the long summer afternoons, tea-parties on the Thames, croquet, roast-beef, pipe-smoking, the Christmas panto, Punch and the London Times and all those other things the mere thought of which produces a kind of warm and inexpressible ache in the English heart.

I got mixed up in all this as I entered Ripley Court, and it was strong enough in me to blur and naturalize all that might have been supernatural in my attraction to pray and to love God.  And consequently the grace that was given me was stifled, not at once, but gradually.  As long as I lived in this peaceful hothouse atmosphere of cricket and Eton collars and synthetic childhood, I was pious, perhaps sincerely.  But as soon as the frail walls of this illusion broke down again - that is, as soon as I went to a Public School and saw that, underneath their sentimentality, the English were just as brutal as the French - I made no further effort to keep up what seemed to me to be a more or less manifest pretense.  

...Perhaps one explanation of the sterility and inefficacy of Anglicanism in the moral order is, besides its lack of vital contact with the Mystical Body of the True Church, the social injustice and the class oppression on which it is based; for, since it is mostly a class religion, it contracts the guilt of the class from which it is inseparable.  But this is a guess which I am not prepared to argue out.

- from The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton, which my wife has been reading of late.

This passage is obviously dated in certain respects, but there are aspects of the insight here that might still inform us about current socio-religious postures.

[To fully "unload" the above passage you must also read Merton's description of his father's family friends he stayed with in France, who were poor farmers - this description of bourgeois Anglicanism is meant to contrast his previous description of rural French subsistence farming Catholicism, and one should read both descriptions as a whole, but my fingers got tired of typing today.]

my dad.

There are a lot of things I could write about my father.  He was born in Helena, Arkansas and lived his first years there.  His maternal grandfather, a man who bragged about running over "niggers" with the fire truck while he and other white elite enforced the local curfew for blacks, used to sit my dad on his knee, having my dad hold a Confederate flag, and he would call my dad his "little rebel."  My dad years later would joke that "if only he had known just how that would come to be true."  My grandparents later moved to Ohio, where my paternal grandfather went to work with his dad at the family car dealership in Columbus.

Dad was in a car accident as in junior high which left him on seizure medication for years.  His parents didn't know what to do with him, so they let him choose a boarding school out of a catalog.  He chose what was, unbeknownst to his parents, a socialist boarding school in the Carolinas.  After 2 years there he came back home, lied about his age and joined a folk music club for Ohio State University students (dad was still in high school) wherein dad met Phil Ochs.  Later dad went back down South and worked with Stokely Carmichael and SNCC during the burning summers in Mississippi, where he once had a cattle prod applied to his testicles by some rural sheriff's deputies; his uncle Jack from Arkansas bailing him out of jail and telling him to leave and not come back if he valued his life.

Dad would move on to work in a couple of stamping factories in Ohio, one of them union and one of them not - leaving an indelible impression on him, as the non union shop had all sorts of guys missing fingers and hands and arms, and the union shop had all sorts of safety equipment in place, including pull strings attached the arms which pulled your arms away when you pushed the button for the stamp to come down.  His union at the Chrysler stamping plant was a unique one - a wildcat striking sort of local that said fuck you to the rest of the union after Bobby Kennedy was killed - his union voted to endorse McGovern, shocking their own unions and other locals around them.  But they did it for one reason and one reason alone.  Bobby Kennedy had promised to end college deferments, and after he was killed McGovern was the one candidate left who made the same promise - and the men in that shop were tired of it being their sons who did the dying.

Dad would join a commune in Cleveland, and became roommates with the fellow whose parents ran Ohio CPUSA, and dad would work as an editor for the Burning River News out of Cleveland until the FBI pressed him out of that, he would work with SDS and the Black Panthers, become friends with William Ayers and Cathy Wilkerson and Bernardine Dohrn and the lot (though dad didn't follow them to the weathermen), and get folks trying to avoid the war into Canada which involved meeting some savory characters in order to secure paperwork which is how he came to date a girl whose dad was the head of Cleveland's black mafia family, and at one point or another meet and work with just about everybody in the radical movements of the 60s.  The stories he has to tell if you get him going are amazing, like the one where he speaks of the Berrigan brothers and how their arrogance and messiah complexes ended up dividing the anti-war efforts in Cleveland, but I haven't time for that story now.   After dad had already started to burn out on movement activities, after the split in SDS and years of watching the Left turn against itself, dad decided to go back to school; decided to do the student-activist thing in a small, quiet college town in Ohio, Kent.

Dad tells a lot of stories from those days

Thanks to Arturo for bringing this to my attention this evening.

we lack seppuku.

From Aljazeera today:

"Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind," Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, told Al Jazeera.

..."We have 20 nuclear cores exposed, the fuel pools have several cores each, that is 20 times the potential to be released than Chernobyl," said Gundersen. "The data I'm seeing shows that we are finding hot spots further away than we had from Chernobyl, and the amount of radiation in many of them was the amount that caused areas to be declared no-man's-land for Chernobyl. We are seeing square kilometres being found 60 to 70 kilometres away from the reactor. You can't clean all this up. We still have radioactive wild boar in Germany, 30 years after Chernobyl."

...Japan's Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters finally admitted earlier this month that reactors 1, 2, and 3 at the Fukushima plant experienced full meltdowns.

...Meanwhile, a nuclear waste advisor to the Japanese government reported that about 966 square kilometres near the power station - an area roughly 17 times the size of Manhattan - is now likely uninhabitable.
In the US, physician Janette Sherman MD and epidemiologist Joseph Mangano published an essay shedding light on a 35 per cent spike in infant mortality in northwest cities that occurred after the Fukushima meltdown, and may well be the result of fallout from the stricken nuclear plant.

The eight cities included in the report are San Jose, Berkeley, San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Portland, Seattle, and Boise, and the time frame of the report included the ten weeks immediately following the disaster.

Gundersen points out that far more radiation has been released than has been reported..."They recalculated the amount of radiation released, but the news is really not talking about this," he said. "The new calculations show that within the first week of the accident, they released 2.3 times as much radiation as they thought they released in the first 80 days."

According to Gundersen, the exposed reactors and fuel cores are continuing to release microns of caesium, strontium, and plutonium isotopes. These are referred to as "hot particles".

"We are discovering hot particles everywhere in Japan, even in Tokyo," he said. "Scientists are finding these everywhere. Over the last 90 days these hot particles have continued to fall and are being deposited in high concentrations. A lot of people are picking these up in car engine air filters."

Radioactive air filters from cars in Fukushima prefecture and Tokyo are now common, and Gundersen says his sources are finding radioactive air filters in the greater Seattle area of the US as well.
The hot particles on them can eventually lead to cancer.

"These get stuck in your lungs or GI tract, and they are a constant irritant," he explained, "One cigarette doesn't get you, but over time they do. These [hot particles] can cause cancer, but you can't measure them with a Geiger counter. Clearly people in Fukushima prefecture have breathed in a large amount of these particles. Clearly the upper West Coast of the US has people being affected. That area got hit pretty heavy in April."

..Why have alarms not been sounded about radiation exposure in the US?
Nuclear operator Exelon Corporation has been among Barack Obama's biggest campaign donors, and is one of the largest employers in Illinois where Obama was senator. Exelon has donated more than $269,000 to his political campaigns, thus far. Obama also appointed Exelon CEO John Rowe to his Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future.


It never ceases to amaze me that companies which do billions of dollars a year can get favors worth billions for so little in return - hundreds of grand in campaign contributions, and then under the table promises to politicians that when they leave office they will get a job as a consultant or on the board of directors, that sort of thing.

It is technology that first and foremost is the reason why I think libertarianisms which appeal to (shall we say) Jeffersonian agrarian ideals are simply impossible.  I think the same with regard to acre and an ox for every man distributivisms.  That game is up.  Nuclear technology is not going away - hell, we will need experts and sophisticated technologies simply to control clean up and waste for thousands of years to come; even were we to magically stop active energy production via nuclear technologies the demand for nuclear technology is not going away.  

I have a friend, a physicist in East Tennessee, who is a fan of the Chinese reactor which avoids all of the problems and risks associated with Fukushima.  When asking yourself why we would not go with an option that is safer and cheaper remember that investors tend to make more money on options that are more complicated and more expensive.  I've noted many times over the years of the story of the "small-pharma" start-up making rather simple new versions of old antibiotics which stood to save many lives as these drugs were useful in fighting some of the "super-bugs" that have developed and would be used by many -- big-pharma was not interested in making these drugs because overhead to create them would be small, a lot of the intellectual property was open to public use (not "owned"), and thus even though a profit was virtually guaranteed, it wasn't the level of profit those companies are after.  Remember that the companies that make the products which lead to the production of nuclear power are not in business to be safe or to provide cheap products.  They are in business to make the greatest possible profits, so if they can rig the game so as to result in increased risk to the public, increased cost to the public, but greater profit for the company, that is the end the company will pursue.

Those of libertarian bents view the "fault" of the rigged game on the government, and believe that by reducing the role of the government in the game, things will be better than they are now.  There is no doubt that multiple governments, including the Japanese and U.S. governments, are among those institutions culpable for the Fukushima disaster.  But it seems to me that an outcry for less government or no government in response to such disasters is akin to declaring that we should get rid of referees when we find out that most of the refs in NCAA DIV I college football have been bought and paid for by various teams or bookies.  It may be that the corruption is vast, but why can't we just enforce policies which make it harder to buy the refs?

Venny in this thread argues for strict liability.  I think this is definitely one aspect of what needs to happen in the shorter to medium term.  I think that one of the biggest problems is this - say I have a billion dollars.  I can invest 10 million dollars into 100 different companies that have the capacity to wreak colossal damage to human beings and human habitats (Monsanto, BP, Exelon Corp., Xe Services LLC, and so forth).  Over the course of decades of investment, it is possible that on many of those investments I may double or triple or quadruple or more the money I put into the company.  But all I stand to lose, my only liability, is the initial 10 million I put in.  There are easily many hundreds of companies in the world today who use technologies which are capable of wreaking havoc to many millions of human lives and even cause devastation across whole regions, even, if we want to think apocalyptically, most of the planet.  Monsanto is one of the best examples of this phenomenon.  Many of these companies use technologies which have not long been tested and which are being strewn throughout the world without much thought of local contingencies or long term effects on human persons or environments.  

But this is not really of much concern to our investor.  In the case of some catastrophes he can be confident that the company will pay out 20 or 30 or 40 billion dollars, even though much of this money will be poorly spent, and even though this will not result in anything like a comprehensive clean-up, but that company will still be back to making killer profits in a year or so.  The investor might actually appreciate such a disaster because a short term drop in that company's stock value allows him to purchase even more and make a profit when the stock value raises again.

Then there may be the occasional mega-disaster which actually results in a long term loss of profitability for a few of the companies our investor has invested in.  But this is part of the game, and our investor is making so much in his other investments it effects him little to have a few instances where a company goes under because of a catastrophe it can't even pretend to fix.

The end result is that very wealthy men can put a lot of money towards very risky businesses and know that while a few of them here and there in any given decade will destroy the lives of many, he'll still make his obscene profits in the end.

I believe the solution to the problem must involve some mechanism through which we effectively end liability protections for investors.  If you give 10 million dollars to a nuclear power company that causes 40 million people to develop cancer within the first 15 years after a meltdown, then let's "rig the game" so that those maligned by the company can go after not only the company's assets but also (some of? all of?) the assets of the individual investors.  That investor stood to be able to make 3 times or 5 times or 10 times his investment in the company, let's make it so that he also stands to lose 3 times or 5 times or 10 times what he put in, should it turn out his (invested in) company was playing with the lives of innocent persons by taking a gamble with technologies it could not control.  

help danny.

If you live in the Twin Cities and can possibly swing by and throw some cash down at this event you would be doing a very good thing.  Danny is an old friend and a great human being.  We met at the bookstore we both worked at in the 90s.  Shortly after we both started we were hauling boxes of books in and out of this bookfair and sitting down for a break Danny motioned his flask towards me as if to ask if I wanted a swig.  Needless to say we hit it off.

So Danny has blood cancer now and needs help.  Danny's mom is not in the best of health and Danny has been taking care of her in recent years.  Danny and his mom live 9 houses down from Danny's sister and her 3 kids in an old Minneapolis neighborhood.  Reasons to love Danny - he's half Luxembourgian; his Christmas parties held at Paddy's apartment were the most famous and best ever in the history of the city of Minneapolis - literally hundreds of people showed up over the 16 or so hours the party would go on; Danny taught me how to drink (things other than Keystone and Jim Beam), to smoke (Canadian cigs as well as Drummies back when they were still good) and to eat (the man insisted on a proper breakfast of bread baked that morning, cheese, and meat - sometimes it seemed like our old boss Tom didn't appreciate us having breakfast at the bookstore every 9:30am); he used to drag me all over MN in the old VW he was always working on - my job was to hold the heater near the window so as to make a small patch that could be seen through; he is a great polka dancer, or so says my wife; Danny's mom Shirley is one of the sweetest women you will ever meet and watching Danny make her hot Jameson with honey when her cough is bad in winter is downright Dickensian; Danny is the consummate working man's working man - he's spent the last decade cooking in a college cafeteria (he always wanted to be a chef, and is a fantastic cook, but never got to culinary school), worked at a bookstore before that, did some maintenance work, that sort of thing - but beyond that he is just that sort of man Belloc imagined but could never himself really understand, Danny is one of the last true working class blokes - not so keen on aspiration but having nothing against it - I don't know that I know of any other human being whose life is less "My Life: The Movie" than Danny - he is a man with no guile; how many other people do you know who spent a week each January winter camping in self-made igloos on MN's boundary waters, ending that week with a party which would draw 75-100 people coming up from the Cities to drink at the bar Danny and friends made of snow and ice?  The man is one of the most remarkable people I have ever met.  The link notes him as a "behind the scenes" guy, which is definitely true of Danny, but I have never in my life known a "behind the scenes" sort of person who had endeared himself to so many people and who had so many friendships that rose above the superficial.  Danny is a gem.

So please, if you are in the Cities and can make it, go and buy a few drinks at St. Helena's for Danny.  If you can't do that, but are feeling especially charitable, email and ask her how to donate some cash straight to Danny's cancer fund.  Thanks.

Discussion of Irish country in a thread below reminded me that Carrie Rodriguez's new beau and singing partner is the Irish country singer Ben Kyle.  Above are two of their songs.  I'm not so sure about that high and soft Irish voice singing the Van Zandt classic, perhaps he should smoke some more, but as everybody and their mother has covered that song I would say this version is fair to middling, relatively speaking.  The best cover of If I Needed You ever done was, of course, that of Lyle Lovett.

I can get into Irish country, but thus far I think Rodriguez and Kyle don't show much promise of rising to the level that Rodriguez and Taylor did.
So what do you do when you are the Nobel Peace Prize winning president who has brought the number of wars we are in up to 5 (thanks Daniel for correcting that number on my part), but that just isn't enough?

Why, declare war on the Amish of course.

Not that I am of the sentiment that the Amish are great little social contributors.  In rural WI they are putting a burden on local resources, especially rural hospitals, and the Amish there are loaded so I have no problem with finding more ways to tax them so as to recoup losses to the social infrastructure, but, really, armed raids against raw milk farmers?  Please.

HT Venny.

Some lights I made for a petit-bourgeois restaurant in Memphis where you have to pay 10 bucks to make your own damn sandwich.  These lights were super easy, but bossman still managed to quote them too low.  They get many hundreds of people a week to pay them $10 to do nothing; we should have charged the hell out of them.  But this is the way of things...

marginalized subcultures...

Recent conversations on Venny's site reminded me of this passage.

In the context of educational institutions, Russell Hittinger has observed that what is billed as the uniquely Catholic component of the institution usually turns out to be 'a weird little subculture, like the bar in Star Wars, that has little or no sociological reality beyond the gates of the campus'.  To Hittinger's observations may be added the fact that the kinds of persons who are attracted to marginalized subcultures are frequently persons with psychological disorders.  As a consequence, an interest in religion becomes associated with dysfunctionality and irrationality - the exact opposite of what the Conciliar fathers intended in their call for an engagement with the human sciences.  
[Bold emphasis mine.]

- from a discussion about Catholic education in Tracey Rowland's Culture and the Thomist Tradition: After Vatican II.
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, Ch. 7, II, 333:

If economic activity is to have a moral character, it must be directed to all men and to all peoples.  Everyone has the right to participate in economic life and the duty to contribute, each according to his own capacity, to the progress of his own country and to that of the entire human family.  If, to some degree, everyone is responsible for everyone else, then each person also has the duty to commit himself to the economic development of all.  This is a duty in solidarity and in justice, but it is also the best way to bring economic progress to all of humanity. When practiced morally, economic activity is therefore service mutually rendered by the production of goods and services that are useful for the growth of each person, and it becomes an opportunity for every individual to embody solidarity and live the vocation of "communion with others for which God created him."  The effort to create and carry out social and economic projects that are capable of encouraging a more equitable society and a more human world represents a difficult challenge, but also a stimulating duty for all who work in the economic sector and are involved with the economic sciences.

So when those Catholic academics wrote neo-con politician and playboy John Boehner a letter asking him to consider how unCatholic his economic policy positions were, and with the letter sent him a copy of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, I decided to read the Compendium.  I expected to be disappointed.

The language above is typical - vague.  I suppose many a Catholic First Things reader can read the above and think that their neo-liberal economic positions are perfectly compatible with what we read above.  I don't know how they can hold that complicity with actually existing capitalism can be seen in any way as friendly to that "solidarity" as expressed above, but I know American neo-con and libertarian Catholics do this very thing in a manner that is as natural to them as breathing, not that wraiths really need oxygen to survive but you get my drift.

On the other hand, when I read the above passage I am inclined to interpret it as a long-winded way of saying the old Marxist maxim: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.  But I know as I write this that this is no different a maneuver than what the neo-con Catholic has done, an eisigetical hermeneutic and so forth.  The problem, as I see it, is that passages such as the one above are not hermeneutically stable without specific instruction as to what each term means in concrete economic circumstances, and the Compendium is not quick to provide such concreteness, which is frustrating, as the whole point of a Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, I would think, would be to provide concrete teaching with regard to what the Church teaches to be binding parameters of behavior for Catholics in the sphere of human social relations.

Now, that said, in its 583 paragraphs there are perhaps several dozen instances of specificity and clarity where I believe the Compendium clearly condemns economic activities which are supported by neo-conservatives and some libertarians.  I plan on writing an entire post about this later but I will briefly mention as a "for instance" that the Compendium goes into surprising specificity regarding biotechnologies that seems custom written to condemn Monsanto's use of intellectual property laws to coerce peoples into the use of its biotech crops.  Given the amount of anti-Monsanto press in Europe I suppose it possible that those paragraphs were written with Monsanto in mind (a boy can hope anyway).

I think that the Compendium does provide enough clarity to assert that a Novak or a Woods position seems pretty damn untenable for a Catholic, but generally speaking anything from crunchy con (or moderate on fiscal issues Republican) leftwards until you get to completely controlled economies seems to be something which could coherently be said to be compatible with the Compendium.  But all the while there is language which suggests that these issues are grave and that we have a high calling to subsidiarity and solidarity in the economic sphere.  One would think that with such gravity and such a high calling at stake, more specificity would be provided, but oh well.  My next post on this matter will deal with that wee bit of specificity the Compendium gives us to work with regarding human economies.